A guide to marketplaces

The two largest internet company exits to date in Turkey, Yemeksepeti and Gittigidiyor, were both marketplaces. Although marketplaces are more difficult to scale than e-commerce companies since they require up-front investments to simultaneously acquire and activate both sellers and buyers, this initial barrier makes them more defensible at scale.

Our strong belief in marketplaces has led us to invest in multiple marketplace companies in different verticals. These include Bitaksi, Dugun, Buldumbuldum, Modacruz, Hemenkiralik, and Kapgel.

In addition to operating in different verticals, each company’s business differs along dimensions like its order frequency, average order value, take rate, supplier fragmentation, commoditization of the underlying inventory, ability to intercept the payment flow, and many others. VersionOne, a VC fund with a strong emphasis on marketplace investments, has a great primer on different types of marketplace companies and their underlying characteristics here.